Pakistan was criticized for giving state protection to those responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts

The emergence of contemporary forms of religiophobia, especially anti-Hindu, anti-Buddhist and anti-Sikh phobias is a matter of serious concern, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations has said.

A statement by Ambassador TS Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, at the International Counter Terrorism Conference organized by the Global Counter Terrorism Council on Tuesday, said that this threat needs attention of the UN and all Member States.

"It is only then can we bring greater balance into our discussion on such topics,” Tirumurti stated.

Highlighting a prominent trend of certain religious phobias, which the UN has proscribed based on Islamophobia, Christianophobia and antisemitism - the three Abrahamic religions - he argued that new phobias, hatred or bias against other major religions of the world need to also be fully recognised.

He also termed ‘dangerous’ the tendency of several member states, driven by their political, religious and other motivations, to label terrorism into categories such as racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism, violent nationalism, right wing extremism, etc.

The labelling of terrorism as such would will take us back to the pre 9/11 era of labeling terrorists as ‘Your Terrorists’ and ‘My Terrorists’ and erase the collective gains we have made over the last two decades, India’s Permanent Representative to UN reasoned.

Meanwhile, he also drew attention to some UN reports stating that ISIL has changed its modus operandi, with the ISIL core focus now on regaining ground in Syria and Iraq and its regional affiliates strengthening their expansion, especially in Africa as well as in Asia.

“Similarly, Al-Qaida remains a major threat and recent developments in Afghanistan have only served to re-energize them. Al-Qaida’s linkages with Security Council proscribed terrorist entities like Lashkar e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed has continued to strengthen. It’s regional affiliates in Africa continue to expand,” he explained.

According to the Indian envoy to UN, developments in Afghanistan are being closely watched in Africa by terrorist and radical groups.

“We need to ensure that they and other regional affiliates of ISIL and Al-Qaeda don’t get emboldened and take advantage of armed conflict situations in and around the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin area,” he said.

'Pakistan protecting 1993 Mumbai blast accused'

India also hit out at Pakistan for giving state protection and 5-star hospitality to the crime syndicate responsible for 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, in an indirect reference to the D-company head Dawood Ibrahim who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.

Linkages between terrorism and transnational organised crime must be fully recognised and addressed vigorously, Tirumurti said.

“The UN sanctions regimes, including the one established by resolution 1267, are pivotal to the international efforts in preventing terror-financing, terrorist-travel, and access to arms by the terrorist organizations. However, implementation of these measures remains challenging,” he said.

“It is critical that all sanctions regimes established by the Council ensure due process in their working procedures and decision-making,” the Indian Ambassador observed.

“The decision-making process and listing/delisting measures should be objective, swift, credible, evidence based and transparent, and not for political and religious considerations,” he noted.

Noting that Linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime must be fully recognized and addressed vigorously, Tirumurti said we have seen the crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts not just given state protection but enjoying 5-star hospitality.

Citing a recent report of the Monitoring Team (MT) regarding asset freeze exemptions procedures pursuant to resolution 2560 (2020), he said that it points to the lacunae of asset freeze measures by Member States, partly due to deficiencies in the existing guidelines of the Committee.

“I am glad to inform that with an aim to removing these deficiencies and further strengthen the 1267 sanctions regime, India constructively participated in the negotiations of the resolution 2610, which was adopted by the Security Council on 17 December 2021,” the Indian Ambassador informed.